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Sixteenth-century master comes to life

Pieter Bruegel

Leen Huet

Of all the art of the Flemish School, the work of Pieter Bruegel (1525?-1569) seems most typical of the Low Countries. His familiar and much loved paintings turned him into a folkloric icon, even if that does not entirely square with his life story.

Leen Huet has written the first proper biography of the sixteenth-century master. She places Bruegel firmly in the cities of Antwerp and Brussels, where an ideological battle over religion and European unity raged. Against this background Huet depicts Bruegel’s evolution from draughtsman and graphic designer into a painter who created an impressive oeuvre within just a few years and then died far too young. This kaleidoscopic biography is magisterial in several respects, not least because Leen Huet offers a new interpretation of 'Mad Meg' and of the trilogy 'Mad Meg, The Fall of the Rebel Angels' and 'Triumph of Death'.

Huet’s writing is quite simply superb: elegant, colourful, lively, with great feeling for detail, witty and never condescending.
Kees 't Hart

How do you write a biography of a person about whom little is known? In this book Huet opts for a comprehensive approach in which she makes use of all the known facts and available information, placing, clarifying and interpreting it in the context of the time. Out of that discourse Bruegel emerges as the man he may have been.